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J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2005 Mar;19(2):153-7.

Burnout and job satisfaction comparing healthcare staff of a dermatological hospital and a general hospital.

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  • 1Health Services Research Unit, Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata, Via Monti di Creta 104, 00167 Rome, Italy.



Psychological distress among healthcare professionals can have negative effects on the well-being of the professionals and also on the quality of care they provide to patients.


To evaluate burnout and job satisfaction of dermatologists and nurses working with dermatological patients compared with physicians and nurses of other specialties.


A self-completed anonymous questionnaire was distributed to the personnel of two hospitals in Rome, Italy: a dermatological hospital (IDI) and a general hospital (GH), belonging to the same non-profit organization. Standardized instruments were used to assess burnout (Maslach Burnout Inventory) and job satisfaction. Multiple logistic regression was used to examine the association between burnout and working in dermatology vs. other specialties, job satisfaction, years of employment and respondents' sex and age.


We distributed 929 questionnaires to clinical and non-clinical staff of IDI and 494 questionnaires to the GH staff (response rates: 53% at IDI and 50% at the GH). Among respondents there were 67 physicians and 59 nurses at IDI and 70 physicians and 148 nurses at the GH. Subsequent analyses refer only to this clinical subsample. Factor analysis showed that among physicians and nurses the two main factors explaining job satisfaction were respondents 'satisfaction with the management of their unit' and 'opportunities for personal growth'. Among nurses the likelihood of burnout decreased significantly with higher levels of job satisfaction [odds ratio (OR) = 0.78; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.7-0.9] and working in dermatology compared with other specialties (OR = 0.46; 95% CI 0.2-0.9). Among physicians a lower likelihood of burnout was associated with job satisfaction (OR = 0.66; 95% CI 0.5-0.8) and older age (OR = 0.28; 95% CI 0.1-0.8).


Among both physicians and nurses, job satisfaction was associated with a lower likelihood of burnout, independently of clinical specialty and other factors. Burnout was similar for dermatologists and other specialists. Nurses of the GH compared with those working in dermatology had a higher probability of burnout and were significantly less satisfied with the management of their units and with opportunities for personal growth.

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